Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
The O'Reilly Network has put up this history of the PostgreSQL project written by core developer Bruce Momjian. "We were never tempted to follow a more aggressive schedule with more releases. A database server is not like a word processor or a game, where you can easily restart it if there is a problem. Databases are multiuser, and they lock user data inside the database, so we had to make our software as reliable as possible."
Linux Companies and a few others.
This News.com article looks at Red Hat's quarterly results. "The stronger-than-expected numbers will likely buoy optimism that there are profits to be mined in the Linux industry."
Here's Upside's take on Red Hat's financial results. "Given International Data Corp.'s latest predicted growth rates for Linux servers and embedded devices, it's only a matter of time before Linux-related businesses start spinning open source code into gold, he says."
ZDNet looks at Red Hat's acquisition of WireSpeed. "The WireSpeed acquisition offers further evidence of Red Hat's intention to be a major player in the Internet appliance and embedded device markets. Earlier this year, Red Hat completed its acquisition of Cygnus Solutions, a prominent open source embedded technology and development tool company."
Upside chimes in on Red Hat's acquisition of WireSpeed. "With only 28 employees, WireSpeed offers little in the way of unique software tools or brand value. In essence, Red Hat will be paying more than $1 million per new employee -- or closer to $1.5 million once all the extraneous marketing types have been dealt with in the usual post-merger fashion."
Forbes ran this article on Dell's increased commitment to Linux. "Declaring his company 'the Robin Hood for the Unix marketplace,' Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik claims that the Dell deal 'sounds a bell for the declining opportunity for Unix.' Perhaps, but it's tough to count out Sun, which has grown sales and profits of its Unix servers consistently every quarter for the last two years."
Here's ZDNet's take on the Dell/Red Hat deal. "Why is Dell doing this? Simple. It's where the money is. Dell's senior VP of the Enterprise Systems Group, Michael Lambert, explains that Dell is already the No. 2 provider of servers, behind market leader Compaq, and that 9 percent of all Dell servers are now going out the door with Linux."
News.com looks at the new deal between Dell and Red Hat. "Though Dell and Red Hat called today's initiative the 'one-source alliance,' Red Hat is hardly the sole source for Linux products and services at Dell. Dell executives said the company will in fact maintain its relationships with TurboLinux and Linuxcare, two Red Hat competitors."
The Computer Business Review ran this look at SuSE, with an emphasis on its competition with Red Hat. "While its status as a private company means that SuSE reveals little about its financial figures, its executives claim the company made a modest loss last year, after a profitable 1998. This is attributed to the cost of growing the firm, which saw the appointment of four senior officers in January alone, and sales growth of 350% in the US market in 1999. But, to convert its technical prowess into global market share, SuSE desperately needs the cash generated by the IPO and the publicity that goes with it."
Here's an upbeat article about Linuxcare on ZDNet. "You might have thought that Linuxcare's partners--given its recent tumulus history--might be wary of doing more business with the San Francisco based Linux technical-support firm. IBM disagrees. Indeed, IBM, far from downplaying its Linuxcare support relationship, is expanding it."
News.com covers the investments in Mission Critical Linux. "Unlike several other Linux start-ups, Mission Critical Linux doesn't plan to use the cash to fund aggressive expansion efforts. 'We believe we have critical mass at the moment' with about 80 employees, said chief executive Moiz Kohari."
Upside talks briefly about TiVo. "TiVo's digital video recorder allows on-demand viewing of previously aired TV shows and actually runs its own version of the Linux operating system. TiVo inked a deal with AOL (AOL) Wednesday for $200 million to specially configure its devices for AOL-TV and to develop a special co-branded version of TiVo."
The Ottawa Citizen examines ways in which Corel might stay afloat. "All of this points to the need for Mr. Cowpland to consider a more dramatic remedy -- such as breaking up his own Corel into more focused units, perhaps by selling some of them off. One telltale sign: insiders say Mr. Cowpland has even joked recently about his own lack of focus."
LinuxPlanet examines potential conflicts of interest when corporations start participating in free software products. Corel and KDE is held up as a case in point. "There is another area of potential conflict: KOffice. As the purveyor of a commercial office suite for Linux, it is hard to imagine that Corel wishes KOffice well."
PC World looks at Compaq's support for Linux on handheld computers. "Compaq's release of Linux for the IPaq will allow researchers and developers to write new applications for handheld computers and other intelligent appliances, says Nora Hahn, a Compaq spokesperson. The idea is to try to encourage use of Linux as a common operating system and development tool for handheld computers."
ZDNet covers the release of Intel's vision library. "While the open-source library is intended to encourage research, some of the coding could have immediate value in current applications, according to Intel. For example, the camera calibration functions in the software library will allow the use of a wide angle lens to capture a large field of view and correct for the lens distortion that produces unflattering large noses in video conferencing."
Here's News.com's take on Intel's Software Development Kit for its Universal Plug and Play. "The development kit, called the Intel Universal Plug and Play Software Development Kit V1.0 for Linux, includes an application programming interface (API) and Linux source code. The API helps hide the complexity of the interface and simplifies development. "
BeOpen looks at the demise of Linsight and the difficulties of the Linux media business in general. "Still, in the Linux business community, where commodity software costs have forced even well-established companies to look for advertising-based content to shore up revenue streams, LinDeveloper strikes many as a miner's canary -- an ominous prelude to the mother of all shake outs." The story also suggests that SourceForge is about to start running banner ads.
TechWeb takes a long look at Linux in the Enterprise. "But other questions remain. How well does Linux fit the enterprise? How successful have Computer Associates International, Novell, Oracle and other companies been at deploying their products on this new platform? How feasible is running Linux as a core operating system in your organization, and how well will it work?"
AsiaBizTech reports on how Japanese computer makers are adopting Linux. "All of the makers are striving to improve and expand their Linux-related services. What they all have in common is a desire to see corporate users starting to adopt Linux in earnest. This means that the makers themselves will then be called upon to undertake the task of building new systems for core business operations and e-commerce services."
Here's a ZDNet column arguing that software should not be looked at as a static product; it also offers some suggestions to the Linux business community. "Suggestion: All Linux vendors should get together and package 'pure Linux' as one CD that is included in all of their distros. The add-ons and customizations making up their proprietary package should come on a separate CD that augments the first. The name 'Linux' should be reserved for the 'common' part shared between all vendors."
This osOpinion piece looks at the issue of forking from the opposite perspective - that Linux is instead unifying many things across the computing landscape. "On the protocol front, Linux works to unify various methods of sharing files so that a gaggle of Macs, a murder of Windows pc's, a herd of Novell clients, and a parliament of Unix boxes can access the same file system (possibly using the same accounts but with different auth schemes). Suddenly you can have one fileserver for the office and the right tools for each employee."
Here's Jesse Berst's latest column telling us that Linux has potential, but not on the desktop. "Linux stands a chance to become a major force in modern computing. But it won't be on the desktop, where consumers have already made their choice. But Linux can succeed in business, where its reliability is well known, and in small devices, where the OS is invisible to consumers."
Signal Ground has run this editorial rebutting an editorial from Windows 2000 Magazine. "No, Mr. Thurrott, the numbers that you supply do not represent a loss for Windows in the server space. Rather, they show a market stagnation for Windows, which gained nothing in 1999."
Here's a ZDNet column expressing some wishes for the future of the software industry. "Sun, at last acknowledging what everyone else knows -- that it's a far better hardware company than a software company -- really and truly turned Java over to an independent standards body. Sun also would cease immediately its self-imposed Linux ban and start offering it preloaded on its servers."
Jakob Nielson's UseIt.com trashes Gnutella from a usability point of view. "The entire open software movement is run by programmers who are motivated to bring out advanced code and not motivated to simplify the user interface to make it approachable by less-technically inclined mainstream users. If they want hundreds of millions of users (as opposed to a few million), it will be necessary to fix the user interface and bring it up to the standards of usability expected of professional software." (Thanks to Bernhard Reiter).
Evan Leibovitch continues to write about software licenses on ZDNet. "While BSD folk write code just to 'get it out there,' and the open source movement (at least as expressed by Eric Raymond) advocates that its use makes economic sense, the GNU rationale is based mainly on righteousness. While others seem to value the merits of free software on practical merits or even pure self-interest, the people behind GNU say, when it comes down to it, this is a simple matter of right and wrong."
Now here's a fun one...according to this BBC article British Telecom claims to own a patent on hyperlinks. "BT rediscovered the Hidden Page patent three years ago during a routine trawl of its 15,000 patents. The growing popularity of the internet has spurred it to capitalise on the patent. 'It is only now that the world wide web has become commercially significant,' said a BT spokesman. He added that BT has spent the time preparing its licensing programme for companies that want to use hyperlinks. 'It takes a long time to prepare a licensing programme of this magnitude,' said the spokesman."
Our old friend John Taschek at ZDNet has figured out why Linux stocks are down. "These companies are trying to salvage dead or dying products by recasting them as Linux essentials. They're going so far as to tweak Linux and make parts of it proprietary. This clearly is not the way of Linux life. Linux developers, meanwhile, resent this. They've seen the profit motive destroy good technology. True Linux types hate companies that push a Linux agenda because they cast a bad glow across the entire Linux base. Investors then pick up on this bad karma and dump their entire Linux portfolios."
Here's an Internet Week column looking at the possible consequences of a Microsoft split. "The prospect that Windows might become an excellent product should give Linux supporters pause. Because Microsoft (the OS company) will now have to compete on its own merits, there's no question that the product will become stronger and more stable. Until now, the companies that make Unix and those that distribute Linux have had those qualities pretty much sewn up."
Rick Lehrbaum has provided the latest Embedded Linux Newsletter. It's a comprehensive summary of announcements and press coverage in the embedded Linux area.
LinuxNewbie.org has put up this help file on using a Diamond Rio with Linux. "Believe it or not, getting the Rio to work in Linux is easier then the same process in Windows. I'm serious. If you don't believe me then just follow along."
Here's a detailed, step-by-step article in LinuxDev.Net on how to integrate the Python interpreter into the Apache web server. "To build a Python module for Apache, there are three steps you need to take: installing the Python libraries, recompiling Apache with the PyApache module, and finally telling Apache about PyApache in the httpd.conf file."
News.com interviews Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the VP of technology and strategy at IBM. "We see Linux as being as much of a fad as the Internet was in 1995. Linux is more like the Internet in being an industrywide initiative that all vendors can support. That makes it very different from supporting Windows or other technology that's very good but that one vendor has all the control over."
LinuxPower interviews GIMP developer Sven Neumann. "I'm sure end-users will like the more consistent user interface of Gimp-1.2 and will love to discover the new features we've built into it. Among the new tools that were added, the much improved support for paths is probably the most worthwhile. The thing I like most about the new Gimp is that it feels much more responsive due to the introduction of the idle-renderer. While Gimp-1.0 used to block the user interface while rendering a new composition of the image, Gimp-1.2 allows you to interrupt that process and combines consecutive changes."
BeOpen interviews Randy Terbush, founder of Covalent. "Any work that happens in the [Apache] core continues to go back in the core and is public domain, meaning any other competitive company or end-user has the benefit of those resources. At the same time, using the module API to create some proprietary add-ons that in a lot of cases have to be proprietary because the third party code that we have to license is often proprietary -- there's really no other way if we want to bring Apache to the same level as Netscape and IIS server."
News.com talks with Simon Lin of Acer about embedded systems. "Linux is still far from establishing itself as a mainstay, Lin said, but the open-source operating system is helped to a certain degree by timing. Linux is gaining momentum among developers at a time when the device market is taking off."
GnuLinux is running an interview with Eazel's Andy Hertzfeld. "People forget how innovative that was. To have all these different companies making hardware that ran the same software, that was the real essence of the PC revolution. Well, it's 20 years later and it's time to commoditize that next level up, the operating system. At the system level, there literally has been no innovation for 20 years. Look at Linux. It's an up and coming contender for a leading edge operating system, yet it's essentially a 30 year old architecture."
This LinuxMall article looks at a medical program called REALTIQ. "Practice striking your poses now--a new medical scanning alignment program that runs exclusively on Linux is scheduled for release late this summer. "
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
June 22, 2000